By Murali Bukkapatnam, President of TiE Hyderabad & CEO & Co-Founder, getdomestichelp.com
TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) was born in 1992 in Silicon Valley. It is a non profit trade group dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship.
It is quite a palpable fact that organizing an event doesn't just require you to step out of your comfort den; it also requires a mammoth amount of patience and creativity. You might still be a rookie at your business, but you can be a pro when it comes to organizing an interesting event.
There are innovative things you could do to ensure an event is successful. Here are some tips to organize an engaging, inspiring and a lively event:
1. Do your targeting: One of the most common mistakes organizers do is they host generic events. Have an event that is theme based. For instance, if your event is based on Social Entrepreneurship, target people who are interested in it and if your event is based on advertising, target people who take interest in it and the relevant fields.
2. A creative and a right team: It is rightly said that alone you could do little; together you could do a lot. Have a creative team that respects your ideas and shares your vision. For any event, it is absolutely essential to have a bunch of likeminded volunteers, bustling with energy and fresh ideas.
Team effort results in a great event!
3. Be Clear About Your Objective: Now that you have an awesome team, go ahead and arrange some huddles and 1:1s. Set expectations and explain the job responsibilities to every individual. Motivate them. And above everything, be clear about your objective.
Ask every team member to take ownership and you should set an example for them.
4. Ideal location and time: Objective. Done! Team. Done! All you need now is the right place to host your event. You should shortlist all the locations that fit your desirable criteria and budget, and talk to them in advance about the availability of the place. After shortlisting the places, visit them personally and check if they can accommodate the number of people who intend to attend the event. Finalize the best one, coordinate with your management team, and secure the selected location.
5. Promote well: Promotion is the USP of any event. Create a promotional campaign that goes viral. The advent of the Internet and social media has opened the doors for several mediums of promotion. You should visit various educational institutions, corporate companies – basically every place where your target audience gathers.
Create blogs; be active on social media and various forums, create videos, conduct surveys and others. Just spread the word!
6. Registration Process: Cumbersome registration process does not just make our job tough, it irks the audience too. Get your volunteers to keep the logistic simple.
Be sure to send out the event schedule in advance. While you can add a little grace period, you cannot delay the registration process. Time is a valuable asset.
7. Workshops: Create a value for the audience. When an individual attends your event, he'll focus typically on networking. In a workshop, an individual learns new things, and interacts with new people. Have your speaker or guest of honour visit every team and share his thoughts with them.
Keep this short!
8. Refreshments: All work and no frolic results in a rather mundane event. Schedule a timely coffee break where people could unwind, share an anecdote or two with their team. Like I said, focus on networking.
9. Customer-centric: What is the whole point of holding an event? You are trying to sell your product or create an extensive market for it. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and plan accordingly. A satisfied, happy customer will do the best marketing for your product.
For instance, take Mumbai Dabbawalahs. Their customers talk unabashedly about the quality of their service, thereby creating a huge market for them.
10. Q&A Panel Round: While the Guest of Honour's speech lasts for 1-2 hours, the Q&A session lasts for 10-15 minutes doing no absolute justice to the audience. The organizer should give an opportunity for the audience to ask maximum number of questions. This should be the most interactive session. Time management plays a crucial role in this phase.
Hopefully, these tips will help you host a successful event and all your hard-work will pay off. Finally!